Open Access Senior Thesis
© 2013 Jacqueline Freedman
My capstone is a conversation of the Millennial Generation’s views of individual identity and masculinity, with the hopes of deconstructing the socially constructed and exclusive notions of masculinity by defining a generation’s “common sense.”
My piece is inspired by the portraiture of Chad States in Masculinities (2011) as well as Loren Cameron’s work in Body Alchemy: Transsexual Portraits (1996). The theoretical basis of my project relies heavily on Antonio Gramsci’s concept of “common sense” as well as José Esteban Muñoz’s disidentification. Common sense refers to an instinctual, “uncritical and largely unconscious way of perceiving and understanding.” It “is a collective noun, like religion” yet it “is not something rigid and immobile, but is continually transforming itself, enriching itself with scientific ideas and with philosophical opinions which have entered ordinary life.” Furthermore, disidentification is Muñoz’s third mode of dealing with a dominant ideology. This aspect “neither opts to assimilate within such a structure nor strictly opposes it; rather, disidentification is a strategy that works on and against dominant ideology and hegemony. Disidentification works as the negotiating mechanism for common sense because it is against assimilation to mainstream masculinity as well as asks individuals to be their personal identity in spite of what hegemonic masculinity dictates.
Thus, I hope to instill a new understanding of the “common sense” of the Millennial Generation, and how the notion of masculinity is personal, fluid, and disidentified.
Freedman, Jacqueline Hope, "Disidentified Masculinities" (2014). Scripps Senior Theses. 307.